- Copertina rigida: 336 pagine
- Editore: Doubleday (14 febbraio 2013)
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 0857521616
- ISBN-13: 978-0857521613
- Peso di spedizione: 522 g
- Media recensioni: 3.0 su 5 stelle Visualizza tutte le recensioni (1 recensione cliente)
- Posizione nella classifica Bestseller di Amazon:
Ghostman (Inglese) Copertina rigida – 14 feb 2013
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"This is a quite astonishing debut from a 24-year-old who drafted it while he was a student in Oregon. Incredibly mature, impeccably researched and written with supreme panache, it starts with a casino heist that goes spectacularly wrong ... There are strands of James Sallis in the internal conversations, but on top of these comes a freshness and a swagger that is impossible to ignore. It moves like a black mamba and is every bit as deadly. Fierce, taut and with an intensity that burns the lungs, I doubt whether there will be a debut thriller to match it this year, or even next." (Geoffrey Wansell DAILY MAIL)
"Hobbs, who is 24, recounts Ghostman's adventures with startling and sparkling assurance, as evident in flash back scenes set in Kuala Lumpur as in all the mayhem and mind games in New Jersey. A star is born? Quite possibly." (John Dugdale SUNDAY TIMES)
"Full of authentic detail, seedy locations and a high corpse count, it keeps you hooked until the very last page." (SUNDAY TELEGRAPH)
"This thrilling tale of the bloody aftermath of a casino heist gone wrong reads as if it were written by an expert in safe-cracking and bank robbing... Brilliantly clever, gripping and action-packed, it's narrated by the mysterious Ghostman, who's hired to put right botched jobs. Utterly original and bound to become a big-budget movie." (SUNDAY MIRROR)
"Fast, hard and knowing: this is an amazing debut full of intrigue, tradecraft and suspense. Read it immediately!" (LEE CHILD)
Descrizione del libro
People see what you tell them to see . . .
Oceans Eleven meets Drive meets Lee Child in this extraordinary pulse-pounding debut from the most exciting new thriller writer of the yearVisualizza tutta la Descrizione prodotto
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The plot revolves around a casino robbery in Atlantic City and a debt the Ghostman owes to a jugmarker - a master criminal who organizes and executes large-scale robberies. In this case, there are double and triple-crosses, a huge sum of money, a thrilling back-story and a super abundance of delicious detail of how crime on an industrial scale is planned and executed. If Ocean's Eleven (2001) had a grittier more authentic element to it, you'd be close to the mark here. What is all the more amazing is that this authentic-feeling crime drama was written by a 24 year-old Reed college graduate.
It is not often that I am so enthusiastic about an author or a book - this is one of the unusual instances where I am. That Hobbs tragically died having written only two books is crime in and of itself. For fans of thrillers, crime novels, or simply a well-crafted and well-written story, I give _Ghost Man_ my highest recommendation.
From a literary perspective, the book is, in my opinion, a satisfying thriller. The writing is sound, and easy to read (if a bit wooden and long-winded at times); the characters are believable and functional; the story is engaging and coherent (though it does wax hyperbolic towards the end, I thought). As a novel, 'Ghostman' didn't quite knock me out of my socks, but it was solid enough for me to finish it without issue.
However, what I found most worthwhile about the book is its intellectual aspect. Namely, the author did a good job of exploring the unconventional psychology and novel logistics which factor into crime, as to present an interesting (and quite valid) sociological study. This element was what I hoped for when buying the book (since, in my experience, such fictional depictions can serve as powerful learning tools, as to yield real-world, universal knowledge about things with no relation to crime), and I was not disappointed. By seeing things through the Ghostman's eyes (however imaginary or theoretical they may be), I was forced to reexamine the world and my place in it, thus gaining some perspective and a more sound understanding of myself -- and all from a work of fiction, no less. Cool.
All in all, I finished 'Ghostman' feeling equally educated and entertained. Good stuff.
My sincere thanks goes out to this book's author, subjects, and publisher. I am grateful for, and have benefited from, your work and service.
I think the author has great potential and we probably should forgive him the problems with this first book. As with many young authors, he has too many ideas. Robb may think the Atlantic City and the Kuala Lumpur story play neatly off each other, but they don't. The KL story is overwritten, and is actually not necessary to explain the Atlantic City story. This back story for the Ghostman could have been dealt with in a chapter, at most. I started to get annoyed with how much time was being spent on this KL story, as it slowed down, and not in a good way, the initial tension generated by the Atlantic City story.
The other issue is that Robb seems to have a problem writing women. The two female characters who have significant roles are never fleshed out properly. I came away not knowing why their characters did what they did, especially in the supposedly formative relationship in the KL story.
Robb has obviously read Lee Child. If he has not already done so, he should read all of Rchard Stark's series of Parker novels about an amoral thief. His Ghostman owes a lot to Stark.
I tried and failed to dislike the technique here. I must admit, it works. The chapters of backstory are short and well spaced such that the main story, the one readers invest themselves in, does not go stale. The backstory could stand on its own, full of intrigue and twists of plot. Most importantly, the diversions into the backstory modulate the drama and suspense: the waning in the backstory accentuates the waxing in the main story.
The author might instead have interjected episodes of romance or humor. Romance would fit poorly, but there is room for humor. The two arch villains in the story, grotesquely evil, could have been played for laughs now and then, but the author used the backstory instead. Works for me.
The world would be better off without G—my evaluation, perhaps shared by G, but he’s not saying, and definitely not shared by the more appealing among the other characters, including the only important female. The story paints G as not as bad as some of the others, and implies that he’s smarter and more capable than them all, even the arch villain he calls a genius. How reliable is this portrait? Delectably, we’ll never know, because apart from a short prolog, G narrates the whole story.
I recall one short breach of the fourth wall, when G reminds us that he is serving up the backstory to explain how he got himself into his present predicament. Otherwise, a persistent point of view is one of the book’s strongest features. I watch over G’s shoulder as he navigates through treacherous waters, constantly reevaluating risks and reassessing what he can accomplish in the short time allotted. I keep in mind that he’s on a high, doing what he loves to do, and soon he’ll be once again adrift in a calm between storms such as this, storms that give his life meaning; that he identifies himself with Aeneas as portrayed by Virgil; that before this identification, G says he was always adrift, with no place in this world.
The writing is clear and straightforward, lean and fast paced. No excess of similes, metaphors, or unusual words gets in the way of the persistently interesting and engaging plot. A couple of instances of a Sunday-sermon version of the Rule of Three,
Clause X, clause 1. Clause X, clause 2. Clause X, clause 3.
seem out of place.
Descriptions of places and people are crisp and to the point, that being how they affect G’s mission: Do they assist or hinder? What threats might they entail? The glitz of the casinos and the bleakness of much of their surroundings come through with detachment. One metaphor that sticks with me appears twice, I think: the calm dark Atlantic ocean as a slick of oil, perhaps the ugliest depiction of coastal water I can recall by anyone.
I chose not to read a “Kindle only” autobiography of G, for same reason I don’t read titles on paintings and avoid “bonus material” on DVDs: the story should stand on its own. It most certainly does.
After reviewing, I learned of a planned sequel. I prefer my own brief epilog: G dies at sea.
He is the narrator of this story, which actually tells of two heists. One was five years ago in Kuala Lumpur and did not end well, and then the present day robbery in Atlantic City.
This story is full of interesting facts and figures about the robbery business, from cool gadgets to lengthy explanations of each person's role in heists.
I especially liked the explanations of how "Jack" disappears during and after a job.
This was a fast-paced read. It was filled with unappealing characters but it drew me in nonetheless. It kept me interested enough, so that even though I have mixed feelings about the book, I'm now going to read the second book in the series - VANISHING GAMES.